Dawson’s Blog

Why Do People Cut Themselves?

need help now for cutting

Most people cut to cover an even deeper emotional pain.

There is so much confusion around the horrific addiction of cutting. It’s hard for some people to understand why you, or someone you know, would repeatedly harm them self on purpose. With this blog series, I want to break through the confusion and help those who practice cutting as a way of life. I’ve heard a lot of people say, Why would anyone do such a thing as purposely cause pain to their bodies? So let’s begin to uncover the reasons why so many people cut themselves.

As I have talked with hundreds of cutters, one major reason emerges over and over again: Most people cut themselves to try to cope with an even deeper emotional pain. If you or anybody you know is cutting, please understand cutting is just a cruel symptom of something much deeper and painful going on inside.

An anonymous blogger put it this way: I used to cut because I felt like it was the only way to feel something other than the hurt and confusion and self-hate that was driving me insane. I would cut because I hated myself so much that I wanted to tear myself to pieces.

why do people cutMost cutters’ ability to cope with life is overwhelmed by powerful emotions or extreme pressure that seem too intense to bear. Jenessa said she’s been a cutter for 7 years. I was sexually abused by someone very close to me. I started cutting because I always thought that what happened was my fault. I have never gotten over it so I used to cope with any problem I had by cutting. Taking it out on myself was so much easier than figuring out what to do emotionally.

When these emotions aren’t dealt with, tension builds up. Cutting can feel like a release of this tension. Rachel said cutting is a way for her to deal with her pain: It’s an escape from reality. No matter how temporary it is it’s a relief to escape all the pain.

cut because of emotional painMost cutters struggle to express their pain to others. Without the words or outlet to express their emotional pain, they give in to a short cut, a destructive physical expression toward them self. Laken said cutting is her first reaction when she feels disappointment or difficulty. When I fail a test, when I get in a fight, when I am called a mean name, or when anything bad happens the first thought is to cut. It is horrible and I always fall back on it.

The physical pain has a calming effect on her more agonizing emotional pain. Cutting is the treating of one pain with another. A cutter’s life is one of choices between one kind of pain or a much greater one. Amy said: It feels good when you have physical pain to take away from your emotional pain.

By harming yourself you never really are able to confront your deepest feelings. Click To Tweet

The problem with cutting, as with any addiction, is that by harming yourself you never really are able to confront your deepest feelings. Perhaps that is you. You are using cutting to try to cope with an even deeper emotional pain. It is hard to say no to something that feels so good. But in the end, cutting will fail you every time.

Don’t lose hope. There are healthy ways to deal with your emotions and to stop cutting for good.

Please continue to send me your stories. They are awesome and very helpful to me.

Check out these helpful resources on self-harm from TheHopeLine




Free eBook! Understanding Self-Harm and Cutting from TheHopeLine®




Dawson McAllister Dawson McAllister (born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania) is an American speaker, radio host, and author. He is the founder of Dawson McAllister Association and TheHopeLine and host of the national radio program Dawson McAllister Live, which is aired on Sunday nights. Dawson has been speaking to and in support of teenagers and young adults for over 40 years.
TheHopeLine reads every comment. The purpose of the blogs are to provide help through the content, stories, and struggles of others. If you are looking for immediate help please click on an option above.
  • Crystal

    I cut because I feel like i deserve it and I personally like seeing massive blood!

  • Crystal

    I cut because it takes the emotional pain away and leads into physical pain and honestly i can take physical pain better than emotional pain!

  • x

    I cut because I don’t know how else to deal with this. No one who really cares and the medicines don’t work

    • Mia

      I CARE!♡♥

  • anthony

    I’m unlike most cutters according to my psychiatrist since I started at age 45. I cut for that moment of feeling in control of my pain. I was a drug user for 20 years and been clean 5 years I think I ju add the traded one for another. People in my life think I cut for attention but that us not true at all. I want to stop but I just can’t find a place for help..

    • Hannah

      That’s really interesting. I don’t mean to seem insensitive but I’ve never met a cutter who is not teens or 20s…

  • vendetta

    I think many older people do cut & they probable never seek out help or know who to turn tjo. SADLY

  • paige

    I’m 18 been cutting for 6 years I cut because I feel alone and sometimes think the world would be better off

  • Kalar Walters

    You said what I’ve thought. The pain that cutting induces distracts the mind temporarily because survival of the body is innately, biologically paramount. The focus goes to the injury and away from emotional signals….at least for a time.

  • Ana

    Same…I’ve started cutting and it relieves everything, like finding a way to not be mad at yourself. You would probably not expect that I come from a catholic highschool but I do. Jus feel alone and upset

  • salvador

    For everybody that cuts…. I’ma try to say this the best i can. I LOVE you all.. I know people have it harder than others i can say the way i’m living…i’m not satisfied i mean who is.. I don’t cut personally so i’m sorry for not 100% understanding you all but i care about people maybe a little too much sometimes… But that’s who i am and that’s who you are.. You are not alone.. Go out make friends.. Become the person you wanted to be don’t think about just say and do sorry if i don’t make sense i think i suffer from insomnia that’s why i’m writing all this right now.. My point is everybody has something going on in their life good or bad but it doesn’t mean take out on yourself. Join boxing. Do karate something physical something aggressive or maybe look for art schools find a hobby please because i’m tired of people killing them selves we deserve to die old and happy with a family…. I feel depressed because i don’t have a gf or alot friends but i’m really friendly and outgoing. we are not so different keep your head up and please stop cutting you’re too beautiful for that. Thank you for your time if it helped . sorry if i sound dumb or don’t know what i’m talking about i’m just here to help..

    • samantha

      This is so sweet. You are an amazing person for reaching out to others.

    • hasona

      That was so helpful thx

    • Nadia Riella

      You are amazing! God bless you!

    • Alicia

      Im sorry but that wont help me and im only ten years old

  • destiny

    I’m 13 and was looking at this to find an easyeasy to explain what I do to my parents and yes it helped but when I cut its to stop my head from spinning and for those seconds the adrenaline from the blood distracts me and when I feel truly hurt I’d do anything to feel better even if it’s for a second

  • TheHopeLine

    Have you seen our feature story this week about Michaela Hatfield? You can read it here: http://www.thehopeline.com/tags/cutting/

  • Kim

    Will someone please help me to understand this part of cutting…I feel like cutting has become more “popular”, especially among teens. Teens who cut due to their emotional pain, do they tend to hide the cutting? Do they feel ashamed of their cutting? Is it possible that a teen will cut to seek attention? I know a teen who cuts, but then wants to show everyone her cuts. Obviously she is hurting, but I feel like it is more attention seeking and her way to deflect attention away from her own actions that caused her to feel her pain. Does that make sense? Can anyone give me some insight?

    • X

      I can’t speak for everyone here but I personally hide my cuts and scars, I feel like they’re a sign of weakness. I hate when people see them and judge or pity me.

    • Laura Coleman

      Oh, having to excuse the cuts away or even explain the real reasons why is a daunting thought. I hide them, for sure. No one in my life even knows besides my therapist. It’s 80 degrees outside and I’m in long sleeves. I cut yesterday on my arm but when I have time to think it through, I’ll cut my thighs, where my shorts cover. Yesterday was a bad, bad, bad day. I wish I could uncover my arms and not be ashamed, but people’s judgments or looks or misconceptions about wanting attention because it’s on my ARM would surely follow!!!

  • cali

    I’m 19, and have been cutting since I was 10 years old. My mom found out when I was 13, and kept asking why I kept doing this to myself. It was and still is a way to release all the anger I’ve had pent up inside, it feels like it takes the pain away mentally, the physical pain just becomes so numb and you become so use to it and keep repeating for a little peace of mind. I’ve never been able to talk about the problems, I’ve had a hard time trying to find the words. So a razor was always my go to. Its kind of a reminder that your still alive basically. Believe me, I’ve tried to stop, it doesn’t work. I’ve made so many promises that I would stop, but trying to tell a cutter to stop is like telling a drug addict to stop doing drugs. Its hard, trying to find new ways to cope is like looking for a needle inna hay stack.

  • Christ changed my life

    People who cut themselves please realize that only Jesus Christ can fill up that hole that emptiness so that they can be set free from the demons controlling there lives only God knows everything we each have to go through, he understands each and every one of us but he came so that we could be set free!! If you’re in ANY situation and don’t see any way out just Claim the blood of Christ we have all fallen short of the Glory of God & he didn’t come for the perfect ppl he came for sinners!! To prove his true love! You just had to believe that he died so that we can be liberated n healed and saved he will make a way where we don’t see any way out, he makes the impossible Possible! God bless you reading this I pray that you may be touch by the Holy Spirit and have an amazing experience and can testify of the great things that God will do with you, if you just believe!! – I am just just a Christian (Pentecostal) Servant of Christ! But I know If he set me free he can do the same with YOU! In JESUS mighty name AMEN!!

  • megan

    hi, i’m so sorry I don’t have advice for you, but wanted to thank you for your post. I have never cut myself, but I always have thoughts of cutting when I get upset. I am also saved and follow God and serve in my church. I felt like such a bad Christian to even have these thoughts which makes my eurg worse. hearing that I am not the only Christian that struggles really is helpful. not that your pain makes me feel better though. I think you should pray about what to do for your daughter. I wouldn’t want to embarrass my daughter either, but in the long run she may be very thankful that you reached out to her youth pastor for her. Also she may feel alone or like the only one who struggles at her church, but please let her know she is not alone. They could make her feel better too.
    thoughts and prayers for you and your daughter

  • hikari

    Im 13 and my friend told me that she cuts (like a year ago). She was mobbed in primary school and the relationship with her family isnt that good.. Shes seeing a therapist now and Im really glad about that, but she told me she doesnt want to be happy. She said if she would be happy she wouldnt be herself anymore.. Im really going insane because of that, I could slap her! I know thats not how to deal with it and Im not going to do that, but I always try to help her and than she says she doesnt want to be happy. I alway compfort her as much as I can but she has to be atrong herself!
    Aside of that:
    To all who cut out there, try to be stong, get help, and tell people how you feel! You can do it! 🙂

    (Sorry if my english isnt the best, its because im german xP)

  • Hoekom Jy My Haat

    I’m a 57 year old Gay White Male. About a year ago I was physically attacked in my building’s laundry room. I still can’t use my left wrist properly, various back pains from the fall, and and anxiety and panic attacks when amongst a lot of people I don’t know. I’ve had a few walking black outs where I last remember myself in a different location and come to walking blocks away from where I remember being. During this time I do not fall, and seem to be in good shape when I come to. The constant anxiety, fear, and terror of dealing with people and not knowing what is going to happen next is near to unbearable. I’ve recently started cutting myself for reasons that may only make sense to me, as a means of taking control of the pain. And also to have an outward manifestation of the internal pain I feel. I know it doen’t make sense, and I try to keep that in mind. They are not major cuts, just temporary lettings of blood, which act as a pressure release on a steam engine. I have a psych appointment set up in six weeks, they can’t see me sooner. Just wanted to see what other people have done to control these impulses. Sorry to dump on you. Cheers.

  • monique

    I cut for the first time today after years of fantasizing about it. It felt so good.. Now I’m so scared that I will continue ..

  • Victoria

    i cut…its not like a habit or anything. its an addiction that controls your brain, your heart, your soul. Just don’t lie about it, it may be your artwork, but you lose people in the process. One day it’ll be too late.

  • Tijanay

    I’m 13 years old and just a few months ago my mom took me to children’s hospital for cutting , and they kept me for some days , they put me on medication and they had doctors for me to talk to , I had a roommate and we even had free time ! I think you should take her to be seen because I’m doing a lot better now and I’m so thankful for all their help I was given there PLEASE USE THIS ADVICE

  • Andrew O’Grady

    In reading blog after blog about cutting, and knowing many cutters in my mental health practice I wanted to put a question out to those brave people who commented about their own cutting experience. Most blog comments about why people cut refer to the physical pain as overshadowing the deep emotional pain. However rarely does anyone comment on where that deep emotional pain is coming from. I hypothesize that most times the emotional pain comes from sexual or physical trauma or a violation. If any of you very brave people could comment on that I would appreciate it. I am really trying to bring the terrible compounded pain of sexual trauma to the forefront. Sentences for pedophiles are far to lenient and the damage left by a perpetrator is at times lifelong. I hypothesize that young people in their teen years diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or conduct disorder or borderline personality disorder have been misdiagnosed. Instead of labeling with a diagnoses, the behaviors instead should be looked at as symptoms or reactions to trauma or a violation of personal space, a complete loss of control if you will. In my opinion if people were empowered to break through feelings of shame they have have and talk openly about the traumatic event perhaps there would be an improvement in symptoms that are misdiagnosed and medicated. So perhaps to keep anonymity, people who think that sexual or physical trauma or abuse is the cause of the emotional pain that causes one to cut, could you hit the like or up arrow on this post. Those that have experienced cutting but have not had this type of trauma would you hit the down arrow.

  • alienpanda

    A lot of you people.. you’re just.. amazing.. so sweet and caring.. I didn’t know people like you existed anymore.. reading those comments just made me feel a little better about everything. And for those who read this.. I love you, you’re beautiful and most of all thank you. Thank you so much for being who you are. Being the best you can, trying to help people.. thank you for helping me. You all are just so sweet <3 I wish I would've saw this sooner..

  • Zach

    Sadly, some of us don’t believe in God. I am athiest, and proud of it… And last I heard at my church (my parents make me go), I’m a sinner and God hates me because I’m gay. So I don’t think God could help me there.

  • a devils angel

    i know what its like to cut im only 15 and i got to school wearing longsleve shirts to cover up the cuts i have tried to talk to people and i get ignored by everyone i get ignored by my family, my so called friends, and anyone i thought who cared about me. Even though im young i feel that the only way for me to escape my terror of a life is to cause myself pain.

  • Jamie Ward

    Hi. Im 14 and have cut for about a year and although I have been clean for a week or so I know what it’s like and I need a LOT of self convincing to stop. A friend of mine has cut since she was 10ish and has had a life story filled with suicide drugs and alcohol. Not too long ago my parents found out and then they threw a massive tantrum and wouldn’t understand and thought I had scratched it open with my fingernails.

    Enough boringness.

    When I used to cut it was always like opening a can of coke filled with anxiety and problems etc. I think it’s because for the time when the pain happens the body “forgets” everything and just focuses on the blood loss. During this moment I feel a kind of orgasm of relief and euphoria. I know I know it sounds weird but then again I’m weird.

    I could advise you to stop or not even start ONE CUT AND YOURE DOOMED.

    • TheHopeLine

      Definitely NOT boringness. Thank you for sharing! Proud of you for being clean for a week. Call TheHopeLine if you feel yourself starting to slip. We are here for you 24/7. 1-800-394-4673 (HOPE)

  • april

    I am 25 and i have been cutting since i was in junior high, i did not have the perfext childhood and never had anyone to really talk too, when i had my daughter at 20 i felt like i was healed, i didnt think about cutting like i use too. Until i relized that i was eating everything in sight. For the past year or so i have been on medication as well as seeing a counselor. I still cut but i am able to talk about it and not be imbarassed by it. Its a addiction and its not an easy one. I fight back urges every day.

    • Jamie Ward

      Just stay strong! I believe in you!

  • Queen.k.a.y_

    I still don’t get it. I actually have no reason to cut I just did it untold myself it was for the expirence but then I started doing it when I was frustrated, sad, etc. I even smile sometimes which I figured is really akward.

  • TheHopeLine

    Keyli, we are here for you 24/7. I can only imagine how lonely it must feel to have lost such a close and caring friend. We want to listen. Call TheHopeLine: 1-800-394-4673 (HOPE)

  • ja

    I started cutting at 14 and now I’m 17 I still cut and wish I could stop but its an addiction and helps me handle my demons on the inside.

  • hot stuff

    Im sure a lot of people care, and i really care. I am going through the same thing im 14 but i rarly do it most of the time im telling myself dont do it think about your future think of something else you can do besides harming yourself. What works for me is to listen to music grab a bat and ball and hit it as hard as you can or if you live in the woods grab a gun and just shoot it will take off a lot of steam
    Just remember your not alone in this. I hope this helps.

  • TheHopeLine

    Gianna, We feel your pain and understand how hard it is to gain control over the addiction of cutting. You have taken the first step by reading this blog and being open about your struggles in this comment. We have some resources and a partner we could give you at TheHopeLine® that can help you overcome your urge to cut. A HopeCoach would love to listen and help. You can do this…we believe in you! Call 800.394.4673 or chat online with a HopeCoach 24/7 at http://www.thehopelne.com/gethelp

  • Andrea

    I cut and saying your emotional problems to someone doesn’t help, there not going to look at you and change your appearance which for me is my biggest insecurity.

  • Jennifer

    Ty for sharing this! My daughter is in 6th grade and i didn’t understand what was going why she hated herself. I NEVER thought my baby wanted to hurt herself. I’m getting her help. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Please talk to ur parents if they are available! She is and has been bullied. I still don’t understand but i don’t have to understand to support her in a healthy lifestyle. God bless u ALL. Hugs

    • Katie Badessa

      How did u help her may I ask…my step daughter has got in trouble and now cut her arms and legs 100 times or more on each one

      • kelly

        Hi I’m not a mother but I am a cutter… I just want to say that first it’s a really great thing that you are here and looking it up and trying to understand. The best thing you can do for your step daughter is to get her a therapist, or into some form of counselling. I don’t know her, but from me and most of the community of cutters that I do know she will probably react badly.. My own mother forced me to get help, she never tried to understand and it left a lot of resentment from both of us, she tried to be too aggressive with my treatment and tried to force herself in every step of the way. When you do get her help, maybe set up a time to talk to the harpist or councillor yourself, to understand better and to know how to deal with it.

        There is something you should know though, and this is a pretty universal thing – you cannot force someone who is cutting themselves to stop, they have to want to. You can’t use anger or guilt or anything else to stop it. So the most you can do is give her the resources to get better and let her know you are there to listen, not judge and to try your best to help.

    • Tyler

      You can’t send her off to some rehabilitation center. Most Likely she already knows what shes doing she just needs to be watched and cared for like none other.

    • Heather

      It’s okay I’m in 6th grade too and I cut…i understand how it feels

    • shelby

      i cut and im in sixth grade and dont semd her to one of those places if the place doesnt help her than she will just want to cut more

  • Olivia Princeten

    As a person who once cut, there is really only reason why some people cut, relief. Physical pain always felt better than emotional however that pain would come back and you have to cut deeper and deeper until you forget about the pain and the high from that pain being released gets shorter and shorter. What most people don’t understand about cutters is that its never the same case, some people want help and others don’t and nothing can change that, unless you remind people why it doesn’t help, how badly it can hurt those around you. I started knitting when I felt like cutting and in return I felt calmer and better about my self. My advice is to get very deciated to a cause or a non harming hobby and the urge to cut will lessen and if this doesn’t work seek medical help, but please help yourself you deserved to be happy like everyone else.

  • Ashley glasper

    I’ve been cutting since I was 13, I am now 24. I have no idea how to deal with a typical problem with marriage, work, or even social events when I say something stupid. Sometimes I get so numb I can’t even cry till I cut myself. I try so hard to deal with my feelings or thoughts not to lead to cutting, and I find myself doing it again over and over. I just want it to go away just to stop, I’m so freakin tired of doing this shit. My daughter is three years old and she looks at my legs and ask me why do I have ouchys there, or what happen mommy. I can’t even wear shorts in public, or even go swimming. I just feel so weak and dumb. Having scars what will never go away. Nobody knows what I do, my husband doesn’t even know half the cuts I have inflected on myself. I haven’t talked to my twin sister or my mom in over 2 years, my 3 brothers and my other 2 sisters in 4 years. I couldn’t bare them to see me like this so all I do is push them away. I don’t feel close to anyone, nor could I get close to anyone what can I do?

  • Death lieD

    I cut/hurt myself to feel alive cause if I’m not fealing any pain in my body, I somehow don’t feel right. I’ve been doing this since when I was 12 (am 24 now). I cut with a dull pocket knife cause it causes me more pain and at times I just punch the wall or kick a pole or something to cause pain. Then I don’t harm myself till the pain lasts. I had no problem with these but now form like a couple of months ago, at times I feel like stabbing myself, I bring the knife to my chest but don’t do anything (but it feels like its just a matter of time). There are somemore things that I’m not comfotable to post.

  • GG

    My husband has cut himself self in the past (before I knew him) he has many scars. He has recently burned himself instead of cutting because he promised he wouldn’t cut himself. I’m worried about him and his depression. It has gotten worse over the past few years. He has social anxiety and agoraphobia and is slowly cutting himself off from the world. He has been on several different meds, but they just don’t seem to work. He can’t seem to force himself to go to counseling, although just recently he said he would try.
    I’m so scared and confused, I pray for him constantly and pray for strength for myself. I just don’t know what to do.
    Thanks for listening

  • Ryann Franck

    I want to be a music therapist for teens when I graduate. I’m only a freshman in high school.

    I have a question for any and all cutters!!!!
    Ive been thinking about this theory a lot!
    When you cut, is it a way to physically see and/or feel your emotional pain??? If not that is ok, I just would like to know.

    Plz respond
    Ty!

  • emely

    I started when i was very young,i was in My arte clase in the fourth grade ,I was doing it in front of My class ,the teacher notice the harm i wanted to do to My self .SHE called the consulor and My mother and talked about what she had witness .And worried that there was more than meets thie eye.I hace been through sexual abuse ,fisical abuse and emotional.Its been hard for me ,but nowing that im not the only one and that people can relate to me ,its amazing

  • Rachel

    I’m very sorry about your son, and I’m sure he was a wonderful boy with a great father. I will put him and you in my prayers.
    For me, I started thinking about how cutting worked for others, and why it was all a big deal, why it was so addicting. Mainly curiousity but also in desperation to forget, I tried it with scissors.
    When you cut, everything contributes to the release. The pain, distracting you from emotional pain, the blood, fascinating to watch and know you have control over it, the cleanup, gives your mind something to do, and the occasional pain as it heals that takes up some space in your mind, so somethig emotionally painful can’t. That’s just how it was for me anyways. Then whenever I needed a release, I felt like I was being burnt on a stake in my mind, I would get very overwhelmed and begin to scratch and pace, and then only thing calming was to cut. Now a days it’s like I’m numb, like im trying so had to feel but everything is like a sad song. I just want something vibrant again. It’s hard to resist cutting.

  • Samantha Seger

    I started cutting myself just when I was 11, and I’m 14 now. I do it to actually feel something other than immense self-hatred and this numbing feeling I always feel. I was sexually assaulted by my step-father when I was only 7 years old… I think that’s what drove me into severe depression, and I did eventually start hurting myself. Even before I started cutting, I wanted to feel some sort of pain, so I would usually get by just by digging my nails so hard into my arm it would leave a mark for awhile. I was too scared to use a razor, and I’m still terrified to use a knife. I want to die so badly, but I just don’t have the guts to off myself. People publicize self-harm as being “cool”, and I think that has a huge part to play in why so many cutters can’t get themselves help. I’ve tried getting myself help before, and just by the way cutting is publicized, my addiction gets brushed off as a “phase”. Please, please, please don’t tell others that people only cut themselves for attention. Sometimes that may be the case, but lots of cutters have legitimate issues that they can’t solve themselves and need help from those around them who can support them.

  • Caroline

    I used to cut in middle school and then went years without it. I picked it back up my freshmen year of college and it got really bad. I did it mainly when I felt alone in the world and just like I wasn’t enough. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, any of those. Cutting made it easy to rate that emotional pain. You know how when you go to the doctor and they tell you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10. With emotional pain it just feels like a deep ache inside your chest and it’s hard to get rid of or understand how it comares to other pain. By cutting I was able to see how much certain events or situations really hurt. Whether something made me want to cut 100 times or if I stopped after 10. I started going to a therapist at college and that has really helped. And a tip for the parents out there, it’s not always the wrists. A lot of people go for the thighs and ankles because they are easy to hide.

  • Laura Coleman

    I am terrified of ever calling 911 or going to a hospital because of the potential shaming or other comments.

  • cutting

    So true i feel exactly the same!

  • cutting

    How can you stop cutting yourself? It goes away and then it comes back. Sometimes i like doing it but the next day im so mad at myself. My parents made me promes them to never cut again, but how is that even possible to promise something like that. What can i do different from cutting myself. Please help me??

  • Sara

    I havent posted this with my real ma,e because I’m ashamed of myself and live in total fear that anyone that k ows me personally would find out. I cut, people on all types of anon websites ask me why but I dont know how to answer, because I dont know. I get panic attacks and I had a therapist because of mild depression two years ago, i hated this so i started pretending to be okay, and this made me worse, this made me start cutting..i walk i to school everyday and i have to pretend im Happy and then when i get home i just cant help but cut. My bestfriend I met on the internet, I forced myself to stop talking to her for her on goodbecause I’m terrified that she could become as miserable as me. Noting in my life is good at the moment, and all that emotional pain is relieved from me when i feel physical pain.

  • TheHopeLine

    Thanks for your honesty. When you are struggling, chat with a HopeCoach. We care about you and we are here for you 24/7 http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Katie Badessa

    I’m going thew the same crap w my 16yr old step daughter..I have a ten month old and a 14yr old…how do I no she won’t hurt them or take it to car on accident..she got caught sneaking in her boyfriend at 2am then 4 days later in our safe taking her phone. She cut her legs like 80 to 100 cuts on each one and wen I caught her in the safe that nite she left me a not and did her arms the same..I told her I’m taking pics daily and that if I c a new cut I’m backdating her. She left me a note saying I did it again and really bad..well her dad and the shhrink said that won’t help. But I bet a 30 day place may.I don’t no what to do..I’m almost at the point were I’ll just leave and take my kids and go to my moms

  • sweety

    it aint no big deal with skinny thing…many people around the world go through this..but its allright.i mean why to care for the people who hurts you very deep.kindness is a good thing but it should not be a blindness..and crush on someone during this age is common and it is just a passing cloud..crushes happen now and then..but finfing the true love is the thing which matters and do not trust any one blindly…..:-)

    • Katie Badessa

      I agree.

  • You are BEAUTIFUL! Scars represent the wars you have won! Please talk with a HopeCoach about your relationship with your dad. We believe in you. http://www.thehopeline.com/GetHelp/

  • Katie Badessa

    Live and learn..don’t b a doormat…stand up for ur self cuz no one else will

  • At TheHopeLine we believe that every person has value. You are NOT worthless. Please call or chat with a HopeCoach today – http://www.thehopeline.com/GetHelp/

  • LeAnn

    I have been cutting since I was 13. I am now 25. When I was 11, my dad disppeared. I’ve always lived with my mom, but one summer he put me on a plane home and refused to talk to me for 3 years. My step dad hated me and my sister and I were always fighting. We moved around every 6 months when i was little so I didnt have any long term friends at the time. The only person I was close to was my grandma and I wasn’t allowed to see her often. She was the only person who listened to me and believed me; once I told her things that happened at home and she confronted my mom. From then on I wasn’t allowed to see her often. It’s never been about a relationship, because I cut even when I am in one. It started when I was so upset I hit a brick wall and shattered my knuckle. I was so lost and upset and the physical pain took the edge away. I started experimenting with different things i.e. burns and bruises, then I found started cutting. I have yet to make it a year without doing it. When my mom found out she got so mad at me. She grounded me, made me not allowed to close my door or shave with a razor. They took me to a psychiatrist and I eventually opened up and started talking about the things that hurt the most. After a few months, she got a new job and I wasn’t about to spill my guts to someone else just to have them leave too. Sometimes I feel like an idiot, I’m 25 and still doing this. I have a very type A personality and I take on a lot. I excel at almost everything I take on, but when I fail it destroys me. I feel like I’ve let so many people down in my life. I think I want to stop, but the truth is I don’t think I do. I like the quick fix and I don’t trust anyone enough to really try and sort it out.
    🙁 Hopefully one day I won’t need this, but I doubt it.

  • april

    Hello I have been a cutter for 20 years, I’m not saying this to scare any of you or for you to loose hope. Most people get help or things change and they no longer feel the need to cut. I how ever am an unusual case. Although I have not cut in 2 years I fight the urge to cut all to often. I am covered in scars from my face to my feet, there isn’t a place without a scar. I’m fighting the urge right now so forgive me if I go on. I have all to much experience in this and I just want to give a little advice hoping to help some of you. My mother never got me help, she just did nothing. I was harmed in my ways as a child, and closed up inside. I kept everything in side and never talked to anyone about anything, not that there was anyone to talk to any way. It had to come out some how. That’s where cutting came in. Now as an adult I am still facing this, I don’t talk and when I try to the people around me don’t want to listen. So it gets bottled up inside again. The hardest thing is not having anyone to talk to. If you are trying to get someone help for cutting, always want to listen no matter how small or stupid the conversation seems. You can say go out make friends but you know it’s not that simple for some of us. Just be there for them, getting them help with a therapist is a good start, just showing them you are there and you care. Don’t judge and understand it’s harder for the cutter than you know. I’m not sure that all came out the way I wanted it to. Good luck to you. I would love answer any questions you might have

  • Tyler

    Im 23 right now, and ive been a cutter on and off since my sophomore year of high school. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at that point. Self-loathing was and still is a major factor in my cutting. As a few of you mentioned, cutting releases endorphins as a pain killer….part of the reason why its so addicting. Ill go months without doing any cutting, but generally heartach os what throws me back into the swing. For anyone who is looking this u because someone you love is cutting…..more than likely, its not your fault. We have a laundry list of reasons why we do what we do. Anger and frustration wont help…..we dont expect you to understand…..just know that sometimes, all we need is an ear to listen.

  • Crystal Horne

    I’ve been cutting myself for 13 yrs and I try not to but when something terrible happens I can’t seem to stop.

  • Those childhood experiences can have a powerful impact. It’s not ok to be smacked around. You can chat with our HopeCoaches about it anytime 24/7. We are here for you. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • There is a history of cutting with me in my teens. I don’t recall how much because I tended to black out, dissociate? when I harmed myself.

  • Chantelle_dbz

    My boyfriend cut his wrists. They weren’t deep but there were about ten. I saw them and asked him about it. He said it’s because everything in his life apart from me is shit. And that he takes out his anger on his arms. I don’t quite understand why he is angry though. And how can I help him? I reassured him that he can always talk to me and I will always be there for him and love him.

  • Rose

    Ive only recently started cutting. I still think its such a bad idea and that no one should do it. I only do it to even things out. When i hurt someone, physically or emotionally, i feel the need to hurt myself in return. I dont cut because i have a bad life, or know bad people. I cut because i take advantage of the amazing people i have, i hurt them, so i should be hurt too. I do it on the palm of my left hand. I dont want any of my friends to know, as they all see me as the strong one. Im trying to make them not cut, but i cant stop myself from cutting. It really sucks but its the only way for me to forgive myself for hurting someone close to me.

  • april

    I do go threw what you do. I hadn’t cut for over two years, but last month something happened and I cut, it was like saying hello to an old friend. Not cutting is an every day struggle, I’m not saying it doesn’t get easier as time passes but when that one moment comes when you can’t think of anything but cutting it is the hardest choice you have to make. Other people don’t understand, that cutters can be surrounded by people to talk to, but feel they can’t talk to any of them. In my last post I said it’s because we don’t have anyone to talk to, that is what I ment. I was surrounded by people in my life, yet I was so alone, over time you just think no one wants to hear my problems. So you close into your self. Once I let my husband in it helped. He still doesn’t understand, and I still have trouble talking, but opening part of me helps make it longer between cuttings. Now the hardest part is social anxiety. I can’t talk to people. I am very shy You could say. I have no friends and no social skill to make new ones, I have a daughter that is shy to and I don’t know how to help her. There is a lot more to cutting than just cutting. So if you need an ear I would love to listen.

  • LoveHer

    My daughter is 27 and has been a cutter for a while now. She has just cut herself and is now in a hospital psychiatric ward. We live in different countries. I don’t know what to do anymore. She sees a psychiatrist and a case worker.

  • LoveHer

    The worst part is that she lives with my elderly parents and they can’t cope with it anymore. She doesn’t do it in their face and hides in her room. She doesn’t want anyone to know she does it but they found out when my mother went into her room and she was holding gauze over the cut and getting ready to drive herself to the hospital. Now she feels bad that she involved them and it is just a cruel circle.

  • Robin

    I’m 47, and I’ve been cutting on and off since I was 11. I was sexually abused for years, and even though I’ve been in therapy for over 1.5 years, I still feel like what happened was my fault. I use cutting not just as a way to deal with the pain, but I also feel like I deserve to be punished. My therapist is great and I try to use resources she is giving me, but I still often go back to cutting. I still feel like I deserve to be hurt. Most times I also want to die. It sucks. I have no one in my life I feel like I can trust which makes it harder. My therapist wants me to call this crisis line whenever I want to hurt myself, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I hate myself.

  • ruskayadiva1

    I used to cut and the only true healing is Jesus Christ. He heal me in more than this i aslo was an alcoholic and depressed and wanted to die, but now i live for Him, He is my only hope.

  • Nikhil Duki

    I never used to cut myself but I started cutting myself yesterday because I feel so numb inside and I just want to feel pain. I feel like there is too much pressure on me at college and my fiance broke up with me recently. All of these reasons set me off. I have always had suicidal thoughts for 5 years now and I never acted on them but losing her was the last straw. I’m not proud of what I do to myself now but I feel like it is the only way I can cope.

  • Amandajessica92

    This is a very descriptive story of my person experience. Ive posted it to help me get my feelings out… But I hope it can help you too. Whether you’re researching or feeling helpless.

    Relapse.

    I cut once in high school. I think I could probably call it my first bout of depression. It wasn’t a single quick decision. I had sat by myself, holding a knife, staring at my wrist and just bawling my eyes out more than ten times. One day I just thought, what the hell, maybe it’ll help me. This did NOT make any sense, and I knew it. But the seemingly endless, gut-wrenching emotional pain was enveloping me. I felt like I couldn’t breathe anymore.
    I should mention that mental illness runs in my family. Depression, anxiety, being bi-polar, and all the “azepam” drugs had been a normalcy in my household… Along with the constant roller coaster of emotions from a parent. Being yelled at or “spoken to like we werent people” (how I’ve recently come to describe it) happened frequently… Always followed almost immediately with a sincere and heartfelt apology, big hugs and the most genuine “I love you”. Of course since my brother and I grew up in this environment it seemed completely normal. It still does. Just trying to fight back a bit now. When I first talked to my mother about my feelings of depression when I was 15 she took it seriously and much like her routine, we booked a doctor’s appointment. I remember the day in my English class when the teacher started making fun of Prozak; the anti-depressant that was hidden in my bedside table at home. The embarrassment I felt made me throw the box away and go back to trying to deal with things on my own. It was a few years later when I was 17 and actually cut. I cut low on my arm twice. Toward my elbow and underneath enough that I though it could be hidden until it healed and no one would be the wiser… But I was wrong. I’ve always thought of myself as a fairly smart person. The fact that I had actually sunk so low in my emotional state to harm myself bewildered and disgusted me. I tried to pretend it never happened. I didn’t take care of it, wear a bandage or apply medication because I didn’t want anyone knowing what I had done. I was so embarrassed. When my boyfriend finally saw it, it was scabbed over so I decided to blame it on his Doberman jumping up on me the previous week. I’ve told everyone that lie ever since, and I almost started believing it myself. After that cut I was too worried about getting caught doing it again that I managed to stop. Fortunately I got myself back in control and only had a few thoughts. The threat of having to explain my actions was too scary. Eventually, I stopped feeling overwhelmed with depression. I don’t remember it ever fully going away for more than a few months at a time. But I didn’t hate myself as often. About two or three years ago it came back though, and it came back hard. I started finding myself crying in the shower, grasping at the walls and wishing I could die… Before slowing sinking to the bottom of the shower and rocking back and forth until I could muster up the strength to put a smile on my face again and face the world. I tried reaching out to friends, but it seemed as though everyone I spoke to was “depressed”. I’m sure they could have been, but I still felt so alone. My best friends would try for a week to check in on me but it always faded away. I started noticing that each time I reached out to someone, the amount of time it took for them to completely forget about me was decreasing. I didn’t blame them… They had their own stuff going on. Their own problems… And for the ones who were happy, they didn’t want their happiness to be clouded by someone else’s pessimism. It was SO hard to reach out that first, second, even third time. When no one seemed to care, I stopped caring. It was helping to prove my point of worthlessness to myself. I had literally told my closest confidants that I no longer wanted to live and nothing changed. I think at this point I was really looking for the attention. Someone to show me they cared about me. That they would die if I died. My life mattered so much to someone. I started hiding my feelings again. I started partying more. Drugs made me feel so truly happy until the next day when the reality of using drugs set in. That’s not who I am at all. I said I would never do drugs. It ruined my family. My biological father is a alcoholic and heroin addict, among other things. The guilt of following his path was horrible. I couldn’t enjoy the party phase my friends were still enjoying. So I stopped going out. I still don’t think I can go out without wanting to get drunk enough to forget the pressures. I have had no traumatizing event happen in my life that I can remember. My life has not been perfect, but no one’s is. I understand that. So why do I feel such an overwhelming sense of failure and hatred toward myself? I stopped enjoying things I used to. I went camping, out with friends, just normal stuff. And all I wanted to do was go home and crawl into my bed and cry. Everyone is so happy. Everyone can have a good time and be normal. Why can’t I? Why do I hate everything I see when I look into the mirror? I remember staring at myself in my grandmother’s bathroom when I was younger and crying. I didn’t want to be me anymore. I didn’t like who I was. For as long as I can remember, I have not felt like “enough” in any way. I need to be prettier, smarter, funnier, more personable, more like her… More like her… More like her. I started idolizing other women who seemed to have it all. That just pointed out to me how much I wasn’t like them. I’ve faked confidence for so long now. I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know if I’m that out-going, fun loving me and adventurous person I can make myself out to be in front of other people… Or if that’s just me imitating who I wanted to be. I have actually wished that I had a traumatic event in my life happen so that I could understand the cause of my issues. It is so hard to work on loving yourself when you don’t know why you don’t. My family always loved me. I always did really well in school and I was the “good” kid. I never thought of myself as a perfectionist. Last summer I started trying to get myself some help. I went to a counsellor, started working on my self-confidence, and talked a little bit about my self-hatred. She had great faith in me and said I wouldn’t take long until I would be feeling better. That made me angry. I could feel myself dying inside but I would be “fine” soon enough. This made me feel so minuscule. It felt as though my issues were diminished and that she was affirming my belief that I had no reason to be feeling the way I was. I have a good life. I should be happy. I stopped going to counselling after four or five sessions. I don’t know how to talk to people. It’s to embarrassing to say that I get feelings of not wanting to live. I have a good life. I shouldn’t feel this way. And I don’t even know how to explain why I do. It’s always the question. Why do you hate yourself? You’re a beautiful girl inside and out. Blah blah blah. I know I’m not ugly… I feel really beautiful sometimes. Sometimes I feel great. But the bad times are getting worse every time they come back. Over-powering feelings of not belonging. I think that’s what it may all come down to. I don’t feel loved. And I have absolutely no idea why. I KNOW that my family and friends love me. That I could completely crush them if I did anything to stop being here. I don’t know why I don’t feel loved. It’s like I need constant reassurance. My mother told me she was suicidal again. Probably for the fourth time in the last four years. There isn’t anyone else she feels she can go to. She doesn’t want to come to me but she knows she needs to tell someone. It puts me over the edge. I’ve been crying to myself when I’m alone and getting myself into my happy place over and over lately. Roller coaster of feeling great, like I can overcome depression and move on with my life. Exercising, taking the recommended vitamins for anxiety and depression, eating right… Heck, I even got one of those “happy lights” because I’m determined to not live this way. The responsibility of saving my mom is too much. I needed a break so I bought some alcohol with the intent of getting blackout. I drank and it didn’t work. I couldn’t get drunk enough to forget how much I’ve been hurting inside. I just wanted one fucking night of being able to not remember. I wasn’t drunk enough to forget, so instead it all rushed at me at once. I don’t know how to help my mom. What if she dies. Why does she feel bad enough to want to take her life. Why is life so hard. Why don’t people support her more. Why am I the only one. I feel like every one in my family looks at me to be the strong one. They all unload on me. I’m the one who can take it when they’re feeling like shit. They know I can take it. I can’t take it. I can’t help everyone. I know they don’t expect me to. I want to though. I can’t and I know I can’t so I need to let it go. I need to let them go. But they’re my family. What if they’re feeling as shitty as I am at this moment. What if they need me. I need someone. I need me. My mom. Why does my mom want to kill herself. She’s my mom. This isn’t supposed to happen. I feel so alone. I’m alone. I need to take care of myself. I can’t. I hate myself. I hate myself for hating myself because I know I shouldn’t so I hate myself more for being so fucked up. No one should have to deal with me. I shouldn’t make myself someone’s responsibility. That’s just going to fuck them up. Just like I feel I’ve been fucked up by everyone else. I wish I could be perfect. I just want to be stronger. I wish I could stop feeling this way. How can I stop feeling this way. I need to stop feeling this way.
    I cut.

    I’m an idiot. Why’d I do that. I cut. Because I cut. So I hate myself for cutting. At least it hurts. It doesn’t hurt as much as I do on the inside. But at least it gives me some physical pain. Something real. Not something I just made up in my head. It’s a real pain. I’m allowed to feel the pain of this. It’s not just all in my head.

    I need help. After I cried and hated myself and cut, I had a moment of realization. What the fuck was I doing. I had to put the knife down. That was so fucked up. What was I doing. I ran. I ran to him. I needed to be held. I needed to just be held and for someone to stop me from hurting myself. I needed someone to let me cry.
    I won’t do it again. I can’t. I need to get better. Cutting doesn’t help anything. I can’t believe I did it again. I’m so disgusted. I’m going to get help. I just wish I could talk. I guess this is why I’ve written this. It’s the only way I’ve been able to start to open up.

    If you have read my story to try to get a perspective on somone you love cutting… Please, please, please keep doing what you’re doing. Be there for that person. Show them you care. If you can’t talk to them about it… Insist they get help. I know that it can seem like they’re doing it for attention. But just think, if someone is physically harming themselves to get your attention, then they obviously don’t know how to open up and need your help. It’s so hard for some people. Get them to a therapist. It’s not your responsibility to save them, but at least get them started on taking the steps to save themselves.

    If you are a cutter, I believe you can get through this. Just like I will get through my depression. This is not my life. It’s not your life. We have so much more to live for. Just think about how strong we will be after this. Sometimes our biggest enemies can be ourselves. But the real you is in there somewhere. Don’t give up. Do not give up. Something good is coming. Do not lose hope. Hold on.
    I love you all.
    God bless.

  • You sound like a really caring friend. We have some practical suggestions on this blog for how to help a friend – http://www.thehopeline.com/help-my-friend-is-cutting/
    Also, you can chat with a HopeCoach anytime 24/7 for advice. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • blackandwhite

    It’s hard to quit something that makes that pain disappear for awhile. Especially for me. I’m losing family left and right, I’m scared of being alone with men, I like somebody (hell might even love!) but I’m terrified that I’m bothering him even though I’ve hardly talked to him or sat next to him. Cutting helped me forget all that was going on around me and made me concentrate on the cut.

  • Sally

    I have been cutting for 15 years. I started when I was 13 and now I’m married a mom going on 30. It finally it just hit me a few months ago if I haven’t stopped now I’m never going to stop! My kids finding out or seeing my scars in the future is the biggest fear of all. I’m running out of room on my body its time. I never thought it would hit me its time to give her up let the cutting go. I’m now getting help ones a week and working on stuff that I know needs fixing years and years of abuse! I believe you can move past the cutting and have a healthy lifestyle. I’m not there yet but I know its coming for me because I have finally came out of the darkness of cutting. I also struggle with a eating disorder have for 15 years they go very well together they but eating and cutting. in the past drugs as well but not anymore! Proud of that! I have never treated myself well tho. I have finally gotten that feeling you are worth so much more then this monster inside you trying to cut her away but never getting it. I wish all the people struggling with this problem find themselves and help to go along with it. You are going to need that. I have said that for 15 years I got this. NEVER AGAIN I might slip up I don’t want to but telling yourself that’s the last time will never be the last time. Forgive yourself and learn to love yourself first. Hey I’m still learning!!

  • Heather Harris

    I feel like this everyday. Since five years old? Around about. People tell me I’m so smart (not smart enough). People tell me I’m pretty ( not pretty enough).
    It all hurts.
    I’m just waiting to die.

  • Heather Harris

    Tell your mom to research self harm. People are so afraid of SH.

  • ._.

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  • Anaa Mariee Ginther

    My name is Anaa I am a cutter I cut to fill something els it helps me to cope with what happend to me growing up I have been raped by my dad from the age of 4 to 16 and beaten and Bullied I started cutting at the age of 12 and now I’m a mom and I’m trying to quite and it’s hard .

  • Lil Leppy

    Cutting or any form of self harm is not going to help! It in the long run causes even more pain and heartache – knowing you have scars for the rest of your life, some visible some not is not what you think about at the time – but please if you are thinking about cutting to feel better go for a walk, read a book, call a friend – just dont cut!

  • I am so glad your psychiatrist asked you about it. I know it’s really hard to talk about and can feel shameful, but talking about it is important. There is a saying, “We are only as sick as our secrets.” In order to get rid of the demons we have to bring them our of the dark and into the light. You can chat with a HopeCoach anytime – it is safe, confidential, and totally free. We understand and we really can help. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Sammie?

    I have never read anything like this before. I’ve been cutting since I was 12, I’m 24 now and I’ve never googled ‘why do people cut themselves’ mostly because I was sacred of what people might say about it but…..it literally had me crying while I read it all. I never knew someone could REALLY understand why I do it…

  • A TheHopeLine® online chat is open 24/7 and it’s free. Trained HopeCoaches are there for you. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • You describe depression really well – “the black hole sucking the life energy from us.” I understand cutting is a distraction, but it’s not a solution. I also hear you saying that you feel alone. We are here for you. Chatting with a HopeCoach can help bring hope and direction for healing. Please give us a try – https://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • napua

    I know this post was from a while ago….I’m not even sure if anyone will read my response….the website was actually very helpful, considering i’ve never really indulged my deep, dark hardships…I LIVE it…I have been living it.

    And in response to your post sweetpea, I, on the other hand have been fortunate and blessed in so many ways, probably in every aspect of my life. Most ppl would always think I had it all. But truth be told, I was abused at an early age, it took me a long time to ever admit that to anyone, especially myself…I could have everything, I was brought up in a good family, never wanted for anything, am blessed with brains and beauty….but the point is, I am 35yrs old, and utterly alone, and can’t yet forgive myself nor trust any guy. I’ve never sought out therapy, but I know how it feels to just always want to escape and forget any emotions.

    • Impossible is possible

      i sometimes feel the same that lifes weight is to heavy to bear i find music helps me and i find that i wish on death but death has nothing to offer me but life has nothing to offer but theres always a way to make it through i fell sorry for thepeople driven to do this but cutting isnt the way to deal with it and i dont know how its feels to be that emotionaly hurt but i know that the pain i have is mine but that doesnt mean other people can help carry the burden with you not for you theres always a ray and luckily i can always find that ray but somtimes i fear theres no way out but you can make it i do so you can your mind is the strongest thing you have its stonger that metal if you have the will thats all i have to say.

  • I am so thankful for your compassionate heart for this person who is struggling. We have an eBook that gives even more information about self-harm – http://info.thehopeline.com/selfharm You can also chat with a HopeCoach about the situation and get ideas for how to help. Simply click the “chat now” button. Thank you for being such a caring person.

  • person

    wow my friend cuts and she has had all the stuff above happen to her that makes sence thank u for writing this

  • Marcelinethevampirequeen

    I think my reason for cutting is very strange
    I literally just like the way the cuts look. My life is really bad right now but looking at the cuts make me happy despite feeling sad and lonely most of the time. There is something about seeing something different on my body that makes me happy. It’s like having my hair dyed a stronge colour or drawing a tatto on your hand
    My scars make me happy I think of them like little pieces of art
    I just like to look at them or stroke them gently .
    Does anyone else like their scars? Or am I the only one with this weird feeling

  • Yoli509

    Lonelyouthere..idk if ull ever read this but ive been a cutter since i was 12 im now 44..i do have times where i can go long periods without cuttin..the longest was 4 yrs..only a few fam members knows i do this..1 happens 2 b my daughte..my recent episode was yesterday than again lastnite..ive been in a deep depression with other things goin on it seems like a never endin battle with emotions..im hopin 1 day i can b done with cuttin n i wish the same 4 u.. stay strong.. 🙂